Jacqueline is the Community Evangelist for Piktochart
, an intuitive, easy-to-use infographic platform that helps non-designers create beautiful visuals. Before that, she was a venture-backed tech startup founder. Throughout her career, her favorite projects usually revolve around the intersection of content and community because she enjoys learning new things and meeting new people.
What are you up to these days?
I am currently a startup mentor for two accelerators and love getting to know other entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem. In fact, I gave a TEDx talk
all about that! I also enjoy learning to code and practicing yoga/meditation.
Right now, I am member of a Remote Year
cohort, an organization that brings together a community of 75 digital nomads from across the globe to spend a year working, traveling, and exploring 12 cities around the world. Over the next 12 months, we will have been on 4 continents.
We’ve covered Jacqueline’s experience with Hacker Paradise and Remote Year. Read about it here.
How long have you been a digital nomad?
I’ve worked in non-traditional environments most of my career. Shortly after graduating college, I founded my first tech startup. My co-founders and I started out working from a garage in Salt Lake City. I have been working remotely for Piktochart, which is headquartered on an island in Asia, for a year now.
I have been deliberately focused on working and traveling for the last 18 months, and loving every moment of it! To me, working from new locations around the world sparks creativity, helps me strike work/life balance, and helps me grow exponentially.
Any memorable experience so far?
I was working alongside other remote workers through the Hacker Paradise program for a month in March 2016 in Bali. I had traveled and worked solo quite a bit, and wanted to do it with a group to see what it was like.
I greatly enjoyed getting to know the other group members and did activities I had never thought to do in Bali solo. My favorite was a sunrise hike on an active volcano!
Another amazing moment was celebrating my birthday with my Remote Year cohort in our first stop here in Prague.
How about bad moments?
Two days before Christmas, I stayed at a pretty terrible hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. The entire trip had been absolutely amazing up until a flight delay meant I had to spend an extra night in the country. I didn’t have time to do any research on the hotel – was just looking for the closest place to rest before the flight the next day. The next morning I had dozens of bug bites!
Have you encountered any safety/travel issue as a woman traveling solo?
Never. I’ve heard a few stories from other women who travel, but I have yet to encounter a problem. I feel very fortunate.
Being a Community Evangelist is a role which requires wearing a lot of hats. Each day, I am interested in how I can help make Piktochart a 360 degree brand. This means we are more than just a tool you use when you’d like to design something. I want Piktochart to foster a community where like-minded people gather, share knowledge, and become better at their jobs and daily life.
I do this by looking for creative collaboration opportunities with organizations like HubSpot, Buffer, UN Women, and Indiegogo and hosting online and offline events like Blabs and what we call #PiktoTours
Those who want to see how content and community can intersect should get involved with brands who are already doing a great job of this. I like Hootsuite, Unsplash, Buffer, and Lululemon. Note how they are gathering their community in creative ways, join in on the fun, and learn by experiencing what good community building looks like in action!
For the ladies out there who are have yet to take that first step of becoming a digital nomad, what would you say to them?
I’d encourage someone interested in being a digital nomad to try traveling and working somewhere close to home, alone, first to see if it’s appealing. Can you get work done while being in a new city? Do you feel stressed out about the logistics or excited to be somewhere new? How does it feel to travel solo? How does your productivity level change? What about your happiness level?
One of my first solo trips was in May 2014. I spent a week in San Diego, a mere 90 minute flight from where I was living at the time. I stayed in a beach-front Airbnb, hung out at the beach during the day, and worked at night. I found it was unlike anything else for my well being and happiness. From there, I started traveling out of the country to work remotely and explore new cities.